The Poems

The Poems

3.98 (524 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by  , Introduction by 

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Description

Of all the Greek and Latin love poets, Propertius (c. 50-10 BC) is one of those who perhaps holds most immediate appeal for the twentieth century reader. His helpless infatuation for the sinister figure of his mistress Cynthia forms the main subject of his poetry, and is analysed with a tormented but witty grandeur in all its changing moods - from ecstasy to suicidal despair.

The son of an Umbrian landowner who fought on the wrong side in the Civil War after Caesar's murder, he lost his father and most of the family estate in boyhood and was brought up by his mother. He was able nevertheless to reject a legal or military career and to devote his life to the art of poetry, in which he is a far more self-conscious practitioner than most of the other Latin poets.

His modern popularity was furthered in particular by Ezra Pound's Homage to Sextus Propertius (1919).
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Product details

  • Hardback | 232 pages
  • 145 x 225 x 19mm | 432g
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0198144970
  • 9780198144977

Back cover copy

Of all the Greek and Latin love poets, Propertius (c.50-10 BC) is one of those who perhaps holds most immediate appeal for the twentieth century reader. His helpless infatuation for the sinister figure of his mistress Cynthia forms the main subject of his poetry, and is analysed with a tormented but witty grandeur in all its changing moods - from ecstacy to suicidal despair. The son of an Umbrian landowner who fought on the wrong side in the Civil War after Caesar's murder, he lost his father and most of his family estate in boyhood and was brought up by his mother. He was able nevertheless to reject a legal or military career and to devote his life to the art of poetry, in which he is a far more self-conscious practitioner than most of the other Latin poets. His modern popularity was furthered in particular by Ezra Pound's Homage to Sextus Propertius (1919).
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Review quote

...quite superb. He has the distinction granted to few translators of Latin poetry that his versions can be read at length in their own right with real pleasure...the Latin text is pleasingly evoked without ever being mimicked...as good a commentary in themselves and a superb vehicle for teaching Classics in translation. * Greece and Rome * This is a beautifully produced book for the general reader. * D.M. Hooley, The University of Missouri - Columbia, The Classical REview, XLV, 2, '95 *
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About Propertius

Guy Lee is a Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge. He is the translator of The Poems of Catullus in World's Classics. R. O. A. M. Lyne is a Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford. He is the author of Further Voices in Virgil's Aeneid (Clarendon Press).
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Rating details

524 ratings
3.98 out of 5 stars
5 35% (185)
4 36% (190)
3 21% (111)
2 5% (27)
1 2% (11)
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